Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quick and Easy Earthworks and Siege Trenches

I am working on my next convention game, another round of Ben Franklin's War - Weird AWI.  Last time was modified Battle of Saratoga.  This time around will be the war in the South built around a siege operation loosely based on Savannah and Yorktown.  I've done the siege lines and was surprised at out quickly and easily they turned out.

The picture above is of the besiegers' trench line.  It is made of scrap styrofoam and sheets of felt.

I used those small sheets of cheap felt that are sold at most craft stores.  I found a color called "Copper Canyon."  I cut out the plan of the trench with the felt.  

Then I traced them onto the styrofoam and cut them out using a styrofoam cutter.  I then cut the interior of the trenches out and slopes on the exterior.  Then I painted the styrofoam couple of shades of brown craft paint that had sand mixed in and dry-brushed with a tan paint.  Then I glued the styrofoam onto the piece of felt.

Certainly, more details could be added, like some texturing of the trench floor, maybe even some wood reinforcement of the trench walls.  However, for something that took me only an hour or two, I'm pretty satisfied.

Next I did the defender's earthworks.

Here again, I traced out the outline of the defense lines, this time in foam.  However, as I didn't use the foam as a base, you really could use paper or anything else.

 I traced this onto stryofoam and cut it out.   To form the bulwark on top, I cut out thin strips of styrofoam and glued them on.  Then I cut the slopes of the sides. Then I painted it with shades of brown and tan.  Bamboo skewers were then cut to size and inserted.

Finally, I used some felt pieces to make the rural roads.

I used pieces of tan felt and cut the basic outline of the roads out.  Then I painted the roadway using tan paint and sprinkling sand on it.  After that I dried  I filled in the remainder of the road piece with green flocking sprinkled on brown paint while it was wet.

The nice thing about using the felt is that they can be run over hills  and the like.  Also, the pieces, that are about 8" x 11" or so, only cost about 39 cents each.


Anonymous said...

Nice work on the earthworks, they look good.

Little tip for future reference about the "rural" roads: in pre-automotible eras you would not find much grassy strip down the middle of the road. A good portion of horse drawn traffic was single horse wagons/carts/buggies, and riders on horseback ride all over the place but tend to the middle when no other traffic is coming.

Phil said...

Looks great (and easy!)...nice result!